Holiday babies are always a challenge. As parents, we all want to make our children's birthdays special and to make sure they feel special. This is a challenge when children are born around any holiday, but especially around the Christmas holiday and even more so around the New Year's holiday. With my youngest being a New Year's Eve baby, I've face all of the challenges year over year for the past five years, so I can relate. But, what's a parent to do? Here are some of my Dos and Don'ts to make your New Year's Eve or New Year's Day baby feel special!
3 Things to Avoid & Possible Solutions
- Do not combine Christmas & Birthday gifts. This is a big one for kids of any age, and really for any child with a Birthday between November 1st and January 31st; not just Christmas babies. How you handle Christmas and your Holiday Baby's birthday with regards to gifts is up to you and will depend upon your budget. Here are a couple of considerations on how you can handle gifting in our house:
- We have a New Year's Eve babe and a January birthday babe (hello spring fever!), so it's easier for us to treat both kids' birthdays the same. In our house, Santa brings one "big" present and mom and dad give all of the "smaller", less expensive gifts at Christmas and then they get another "big" gift on their birthdays.
- Alternatively, you could have Jolly old St. Nick bring all of the "smaller" gifts and mom and dad give a "big" gift at Christmas and a "big" gift on their birthday.
- Make sure you wrap your child's birthday presents in Birthday paper, not Christmas paper!
- Do not miss celebrating your child's birthday with a party and do not combine it with your Christmas gathering. Throwing a birthday party around the holidays can be difficult, and especially if your child's birthday lands on New Year's Eve (hello biggest party night of the year), but with a little planning, you can make it happen. Here are ideas on how to throw an outstanding birthday bash for your New Year's Eve babe:
- Depending upon your child's age & your budget, plan to hold two separate parties, one for family/family friends & one for school mates. These can both occur on separate weekends, either prior to Christmas or after New Year's day. If you're on a budget and for the family party especially, plan to have it at your home or someone's home and make it fun by having it be a potluck where the guests surprise your child with all of their favorite foods on their birthday. Trust me, Grandma showing up with her famous lasagna or Tia (Auntie) bringing her tamales will make your child's day!
- If New Year's Eve or New Year's Day lands on a weekend, hold a Birthday Brunch! This is a great way to hold a party around the time of your child's Birthday, but not interrupt your guests' New Year's Eve plans. Again, incorporating a potluck can be fun for everyone, and you could consider serving mimosas to your guests (if not alcohol free) to get the New Year's Eve celebrations started a little early, or Bloody Mary's on New Year's Day to help them recover from the hang over. 😉
- Send the party into school! For our youngest, in private pre-school, we can send in cupcakes, balloons, party hats & favors, etc. and they will celebrate her birthday during their afternoon snack time. This is a great way to save some money as an alternative to renting a location (roller skating rink, bowling alley, etc.) and still allow your child to celebrate with their friends. For our oldest, in public school, they are more tightly controlled on what can go into school, but they are still allowed a very small celebration with their friends, by sending in one, small, non-edible favor for each student.
New Year's Eve & Birthday Celebrations
To touch on the topic of New Year's Celebrations on top of birthday celebrations, how you handle this is a personal preference, in my opinion. I've always struggled with not wanting to leave my birthday babe with a sitter so that I can go out to ring in the New Year. The way I look at it, I will have a limited number of New Year's and therefore Birthdays that my youngest will want to spend with me, before she wants to spend the evening with her friends in high school. Therefore, I'm planning to spend as many New Year's Eve Birthdays with my little one as I can. We do birthday celebrations earlier in the day and then pick a movie or movies to watch with New Years Eve snacks that night before we watch the ball drop.
If you still want that adult time and New Year's Celebration, do it and don't feel guilty about it. Remember that your mental health and that break from being Mom or Dad is okay and that you need to take care of yourself. If you're planning to go out, talk with your sitter and brainstorm with her or him to make it a special New Year's Eve themed evening, then transition the party theme from birthday to New Year's celebration, give your kisses, say goodnight and go have a great evening!
To quote the Beatles, "All you need is love". Regardless of your economic state, your child's birthday will always be special when you make the effort to show them how much you love them. While kids always want and love gifts, those acts of thoughtfulness and time spent with the family will build memories that last forever...long after those toys are gone. So focusing on showing your child how much they matter to you and your family and developing traditions you do on their birthday (regardless of when their birthday is) is the best gift and celebration of all!
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